Hunt was now a literary tourist attraction, and many young writers called to see him, to shake the hand that had once touched Byron, Keats and Shelley. Once more he was a chief actor on the literary stage, and he adored it. He dressed ‘fantastically’ in a ‘sacerdotal looking garment’ — the flowered dressing-gown in summer or a monk-like brown one in winter — and when he went out he wore a velvet jacket and cloak that swirled about his spare and stooping figure. His metallic grey-white hair curled dramatically to his shoulders and he had a boyish impulsiveness and youthful dash which all his visitors remarked upon. Small Annie Thackeray, walking one afternoon with her celebrated novelist father, recalled a bright-eyed, old man with light rapid steps all ‘eagerness and vividness’, who kept picturesquely sweeping his cloak back over his shoulders. ‘We wondered at his romantic foreign looks, and his greeting and bright eager way.’ His face in its openness of expression, said Nathaniel Hawthorne, was a ‘child’s face’. It was with reason that this ‘young-old’ man was christened ‘Immortal Boy’.